Man suspected of starting fire that killed coworker dies of burns in hospital

KOTA KINABALU: An Indonesian labourer, who is suspected of setting a fire that led to the death of a colleague, has died at the Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan.

Beluran OCPD Supt Kasim Musa said the 34-year-old man died after succumbing to severe burn injuries at 5.30pm on Monday (April 19).

He said the deceased was a suspect in the murder of his colleague who died in a fire on Sunday (April 18) at the workers' quarters at Ladang Ribu Bonus Estate in Sabah's east coast Beluran district about 300km from here.

Supt Kasim said the man remained in critical condition following the incident and was transferred from the Beluran hospital to the Duchess of Kent hospital where he died.

Police are still piecing together the events that led to the man allegedly setting fire to the living room of the workers' quarters where his fellow colleague, a 26-year-old man, died.

Supt Kasim said police have yet to establish the motive of the suspect who was believed to be related to the dead victim.

The suspect had apparently poured petrol around the living room area of the house and subsequently set the place alight while he and the colleague were inside.

Police said that the colleague's wife, who witnessed the incident, had fled the house to get help.

However, both men sustained serious burns with the victim dying in hospital about 12 hours after the incident that occurred at around noon on Sunday.

The identities of the two have not been released by police and the case has been classified as murder.

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